Minnesota AG secures landlord agreement to halt evictions over unpaid utilities

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has come to an agreement with Investment Property Group (IPG) to stop the evictions and threat of evictions on tenants with unpaid utility charges, according to an announcement. 

According to a release sent by Ellison’s office, the agreement resolves Ellison’s emergency motion against IPG, but his lawsuit against the property management company continues. 

According to court documents, IPG has agreed not to use unpaid utility charges of any kind as a basis for an eviction, and will amend any pending evictions to remove unpaid utilities as the basis of eviction. The landlord also agreed to stop charging many of its current tenants for gas or steam heat.  

In Ellison’s continuing lawsuit, filed in October, he alleges that IPG started charging thousands of tenants across 13 apartment complexes in Hennepin County for large electric and gas fees in the middle of their leases, in violation of several laws. 

The agreement will help tenants of one IPG building save up to $200 a month during winter, Ellison’s office says.

"It’s hard for tenants to afford their lives when landlords start charging undisclosed fees during the middle of a lease," said Ellison in a stement. "I am glad IPG agreed to stop charging improper gas fees and using unpaid utility bills to evict Minnesotans who would not or could not pay."

Ellison initially opened an investigation into IPG in April 2023, when tenants at Greenway Apartments, an IPG-owned property, were notified that they would be charged through a third-party billing company for utilities separate from their rent. Ellison alleges that tenants were facing excessive utility charges, some which totaled more than $2,000. Ellison then filed his current lawsuit against the property management company. 

The Attorney General’s Office is asking anyone with information about IPG and their utility charges to contact them at 651-296-3353, or fill out a form online.